, Volume 38, Supplement 1, pp S10–S13 | Cite as

Cortical plaques visualised by fluid-attenuated inversion recovery imaging in relapsing multiple sclerosis

  • M. D. Boggild
  • R. Williams
  • N. Haq
  • C. P. Hawkins
Diagnostic Neuroradiology


Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging with prolonged inversion times allows generation of highly T2-weighted images of the brain with suppression of cerebrospinal fluid signal. Such sequences result in high lesion contrast and allow visualisation of abnormalities not seen with conventional T2-weighted spin-echo sequences. We used FLAIR sequences, proton density (PD) and standard T2-weighted images to examine lesion number and distribution in ten patients with clinically definite relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). We also studied the extent and distribution of blood-brain-barrier breakdown by gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images. FLAIR sequences proved feasible both in terms of acquisition time and image quality using a 0.5 T imager. FLAIR imaging allowed identification of 45 % more high-signal lesions than T2-weighted or PD images in the 10 patients. In particular, 60 % more lesions within the cortex and at the grey-white interface were identified. Cortical lesions, none of which enhanced following gadolinium-DTPA injection, were present in seven of the ten patients studied. Of all lesions identified, 8 % were cortical. FLAIR sequences are more sensitive to cortical and subcortical lesions in patients with active demyelination.

Key words

Multiple sclerosis Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging Cortical plaques Blood-brain-barrier breakdown 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Boggild
    • 1
  • R. Williams
    • 3
  • N. Haq
    • 2
  • C. P. Hawkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyNorth Staffordshire Hospital CentreStoke-on-TrentUK
  2. 2.Department of Neuroradiology, Royal InfirmaryNorth Staffordshire HospitalStoke-on-TrentUK
  3. 3.Basford House ClinicStoke-on-TrentUK

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